Feb 1, 2021
To prevent your successful business from dying, heed this warning now.
In this episode I provide a warning of why you can never stop oxygenating your system. Here is some of the advice in this episode:
I have had this recurring theme in my head for the last couple day or so and I need to share this with you.
So I’m going to talk about my own experience, and then a close friend’s experience,
So the theme, the message today is you have to keep on putting oxygen into the system. Now, I’ve experienced this about three or four times throughout my career, I’ve made this mistake and learned from it. And hopefully I won’t make this mistake again.
But a lot of times what happens is we start having success with something and we think, “This is amazing.” And then you stop doing it, for some reason.
In my business for example, I’ll start growing a list, I’m doing something to get new customers, new people to my door. And I’m having fun with it and it’s working and then I start shifting my focus from that to selling them. And in doing so I forget about the oxygen or the fuel if you wish - that was bringing people into business in the first place.
At first you don’t notice it because you’re having success converting the existing customers you had already brought in, but eventually it starts imploding and your company will struggle.
I’ve seen and discussed this with countless people who have come to me for marketing help and advice. When I ask them about the “good old days” in other words when they were making a dollar and loving their business success – they will all tell me about the things they used to do – the weekly ads, the weekly visits to customers – the weekly radio spot the weekly Facebook post whatever but for some reason it got hard, they got busy, it stopped working they are not really sure…. but they stopped. And surprise, surprise times are now tough.
Look I get it – in fact I’ve done it “I had another podcast called Monday Sales Coach I podcasted every single week, for well over 18 months and I started getting busy with sales consulting and strategy work, I mean really busy and then I stopped. “I was making money, things were great. And then I go and cut off the oxygen that was fuelling my success.”
That’s what happens and I know you are thinking, “I would never do that.” But how many of you guys are still doing weekly client outreach? Alright, that means you cut off the oxygen to your business.
Let me step back and tell you a story. About 5 years ago I decided to reengineer my company and what I intended to specialise in. In doing so I also decided to modernise my branding realign my USP and obviously revamp or should I say rebuild my website. (ok, so I don’t do half measures very well 😊). So all up by the time I had achieved everything it took every bit of six months.
I remember deciding during that process, “I don’t want to email my list at the moment. I don’t want to confuse them; I don’t want to freak them out. I want them to be ready so when I have the new look ready and launched and live, they’ll be ready to hear from me and of course buy stuff.”
So for nearly six months I didn’t email my list, and then the new look came out and I was so excited and I emailed the list.
My list would normally get close to a thousand clicks and was very responsive to my emails. Sadly, I remember this time I had around 300 opens and 12 clicks. “Oh crap, they don’t remember who I am. Not good. Getting some money into the door at that time would have been great as the revamp wasn’t cheap when I added it all up, and this was the expectation of this whole promotion.” They (the database) had forgotten who I was. I hadn’t been putting oxygen into the system.
And it was a very sad, and kind of scary lesson. I had to scramble to rebuild the value in my list, rebuild a connection with them, get new people. I remember saying, “I will never not email my list because people forget so fast.” If I waited a week to email my list, if it takes me three weeks to email my list, 2/3rds of my list will have forgotten who I am by that point.
There’s so much noise, so many things happening, you have to always be out there. That’s the reason why I’m doing Instagram, and Facebook, and podcasting like this, and all these things because it would be rude of me to simply email a list everyday but I know that I should be doing something every single day because I need to keep oxygenating the system. This is what builds the business.
So I had a friend over last night and we were talking and he’s going through a bit of a tough time now, and we start talking and it was funny because he’s got a couple of different businesses and in all of them he had stopped supplying the oxygen.
For his local business he had stopped the fuel. He has just restarted adding it and already he has noticed doing awesome again. So, I asked, “Yeah, but what’s the lesson?” and he’s like, “I’d forgotten to put oxygen into the system.” I’m like, “yeah, you gotta keep doing that.” Even when things get successful, you gotta keep doing the things that are oxygenating the system.
And then that same person has a webinar, and he was doing a weekly webinar for a long time, making a bunch of money and then he stopped because he started selling other events and things like that to this list, and it worked for a while and then attrition started happening and atrophy, or whatever you want to call it. And then it slowed down. I said, “Start doing the weekly webinar. Get back with it. That’s the oxygen that builds the business, that keeps doing it.”
That same friend has used a lot of video, “I used to publish video a couple of times a week and I haven’t for some time.” You have to keep oxygenating the system, even when you have success, you can’t stop the lifeblood.
So that’s the message for this episode. This is a short podcast, I know. But arguably one of my most important.
I know we all go through cycles, you’re focusing on how do I make it rain, how to oxygenate the system, how do I bring people in here, and you’re doing that well and your list and your customer base will start growing.
And then what’s going to happen?
I’m warning you, for those who haven’t done it yet, and I’m reminding you for those of you who have. You’re going to shift your focus, and so you should, you should be shifting some portion of your focus to that audience and serving them and what’s the next thing I need and how else can I help them or offer them,
What should I do? Is it an event? Or whatever, but the big thing is you can’t stop. You still have to tie it all in, oxygenating the system. You have to keep providing the fuel to your business.
In my company I now have a system that actually measure the amount of oxygen I put into my system every day. I record each item and hours spent every day. I know I have to keep creating content, keep creating podcasts. I have to do at least one podcast a week. I must do at least this many emails a week. I have to present x number of proposals etc etc…I have these metrics I have to keep doing.
I have to get at least 50 new people a week to register for my material, I have to keep doing this to have the system work. I know my numbers and it all starts with newbies – at the moment for me it is 50 a week. So, my oxygen requirements for my business are straight forward because I know that’s the fuel for the business.
I could easily stop right now; I could stop doing all this stuff. Instagram Facebook the lot – I am busy and I’m making money.
I could stop all these things, but I know what would happen in six months to a year from now, if I stop these things today. I can’t tell you how many clients I have who have been in their industry a long time who were killing it at one time. They had built up this strong business by doing the hustle and grind and then they stopped and so too did their growth. That is the issue with business: you are either growing or shrinking.
So if you stop oxygenating your system, getting new people into the front end, your existing list, while they might be hot and responsive now, it will eventually get worse and worse until eventually you’re out of business.
So this is the warning to you all. Continually put oxygen into your system. Initially when you start your business it’s going to be a hundred percent of your effort, because you have no oxygen, no people, nothing to sell, no one to sell too. So it’s focusing, focusing, focusing a hundred percent of the time. And as customers start coming, you start shrinking the effort and diminishing the focus.
But I would say, if it were me now knowing what I now know, I would spend at least 50% of your time still oxygenating the system and the other 50% on serving the people you have in there. But I wouldn’t drop below that. Because if you do, it will start to shrink and shrink and eventually disappear, which is the worst thing you can do to your business.
Oxygenate your system, keep it going. Do not stop even when it seems like, “I don’t need to do this anymore”, You will become irrelevant if you stop the oxygen.